How British brands are using Facebook Live

If the word “bae” has taught us anything, it’s that brands want to behave like regular people, even if they’re a little late to the party. Case in point: Facebook Live.

“It’s a medium that allows brand-builders to practice what we preach,” says Simon Pont, chief strategy officer at agency Brave Bison. “Stop monologuing and interrupting, and instead build dialogues.”

Here’s a look at who’s getting chatty in the U.K.: 

Fashion retailer Asos is big on experimentation. It’s already run a chatbot on Whatsapp, which gave users style advice and was early to Snapchat.

Unsurprisingly, the brand is now using Facebook Live. This week saw 100 layers of Asos  — where two staff members had 30 minutes to dress a model in 100 layers of Asos clothing.

They asked viewers for ideas on which items to choose first in the video’s comments section. The broadcast received 61,600 views, which is on par with the biggest publishers on the platform like the Daily Mail.

Creating events specifically for live video works well, according to Michael Williams, a social and outreach executive at agency Jellyfish. Asos is one brand that is effectively doing precisely that with its latest broadcasts, he said.

“Not only do they utilize the ‘hottest’ social media trend, they’re also giving airtime to a huge amount of their products. Genius!”

The retailer has also been experimenting with calls to action. Its what’s in the bag competition, which scored 63,543 views, had users in the comments section guess the Asos items hidden in a bag displayed on the screen. 

Clues about the item also appeared in the animation (e.g., “The style of these shoes is an anagram of AN ELK”). Those who guessed right in time were entered into a prize draw for five £1,000 vouchers.

“Real-time engagement is a very attractive feature of live streaming that if used correctly can build brand loyalty,” Williams added.

U.K. beauty brand Illamasqua has been tapping its in-house artist Tonee Roberio to create makeup tutorials with new products. Roberio did a live demonstration of an “Insta eye” look which garnered 5,875 views. During the video, he plugged the brand’s new in-store tutorial service, which launched in July. 

“Live is all about showing your audience your brand expertise in real time,” said 360i community manager Matt Linstead. According to him, audiences tune in to live video for three times longer and are 10 times as likely to comment.

Illamasqua Founder Julian Kynaston has also been filmed answered questions about the brand’s policy on cruelty-free products. That scored 7,557 views.

Football clubs like Manchester City and Barcelona FC are among the savviest brands making social media content.

Arsenal starting streaming on Facebook Live in April. According to the Wall Street Journal, it is paid $349,000 to use the service by Facebook. The club uses the format for Q&A sessions with new signings, like Rob Holding. It also broadcasts content around games — a time when its global fan base is itchy for action.

A video of the team warming up ahead of a match against Liverpool two weeks ago amassed over 677,000 views

The best-performing broadcast so far — with 1.3 million views since it went live — was footage of a Jamie Foxx DJ set in which the actor wore an Arsenal shirt and danced around.

Land Rover
Land Rover already has an established video-hungry audience on Facebook, explains Sevil Crespo, the brand’s business director at its social media agency, Spark44.

But in April the brand took four of its models for a live test drive on Facebook Live.

The broadcasts performed well, with 7 percent organic reach during the first week.

A community manager, who filmed from inside the car, could also react to comments as they rolled in. Many criticized the quality. “When you are going uphill filming on a phone camera, it’s quite hard. Land Rover is a premium SUV brand, and even though people know it’s live, they expect to see quality video,” Crespo said.

For this reason, the brand’s test drives with new models will be far more high-tech. Facebook Live’s API now allows brands to use better-quality cameras and graphics in its broadcasts. 

Lucy Clarke, marketing director at Social Chain, said, “The best viral content on live feeds we see is when there is anticipation built, you’re on the edge of your seat because you’re waiting for something or you know something can potentially go wrong!”

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